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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    170

    Hmm What type of service I really need!?

    Hi - I am sincerely looking at a provider who can do HVAC tuning for my furnace, now that winter's setting in. Normally, it's approx. $ here in East coast. I have talked to and few visited my place but overall my impression has not been good. Every one of them offers the same set of inspection steps but each time I tell them BEFOREHAND that I would like to review the air duct pressures, the blower speeds, etc. since I strongly feel it's not correct they all tell me it's part of the inspection but in reality all they do is concentrate on the furnace equipment 99% and finally give vague excuses or reasons why it's not required, etc. Somehow I am getting the impression that out of all the various types of services like plumbing, electricity, carpentry, etc. the HVAC is perhaps the most vague and disjointed. I request you to please direct me on what and which type of service I really need here. The bottom line is EACH guy I called tried to hard sell me to buy a new furnace and AC instead of telling me the issue with all these rebates and efficiency levels, etc. kicked in! Just so all understands my furnace and AC is quite new, bought approx 2006.
    Last edited by beenthere; 10-10-2011 at 06:11 PM. Reason: price

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    999
    Did you mean to say UNscrupulous?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    170
    Removed it, just venting my anger. Just a lowdown here. As per Service Magic + Angies List, top 3 companies I spent $ and each one did exactly the same thing (inspection) and each one complained about how bad the condition is and strongly recommended I upgrade to more efficient system which Fed. Govt is giving big rebates, etc. Each one, beforehand assured me they will take "careful" measurements and will adjust blower pressures, static, dynamic, transient and all other funky words related to pressure and give me the complete picture. At the end, all they did was look at exhaust, look at CO readings, confirm to me they can't touch blower compartment or heat exchanger since its sealed, did some fiddling with the control panel, ran a cloth over the locations which burn (mine is gas) and collect my $. This gives me a thought - after having seen what they do, it's a nice way to make $...
    Last edited by beenthere; 10-10-2011 at 06:11 PM. Reason: price

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,690
    Pricing discussions aren't permitted here. Please edit your posts to remove pricing.

    As far as the techs that have tried selling you equipment rather than repairing what you have...

    Some guys don't know what they are doing and, no matter what, you will need a new one. These aren't really techs, but salesmen with tool boxes.

    If you are unsatisfied with the services you have received, check out our Contractor Locator map. The men here are some of the best HVAC guys in the world.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    964

    Maybe

    try to stay away from the "big boys" where the techs are on commission and go with a small family-owned company that has your best interest at heart. There are still some out there, but you'll have to do some looking.
    GO NAVY, BEAT ARMY!

    A DECADE OF DOMINANCE! +2

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    4,842
    Our annual fall check ups on heating equipment focus on the mechanical condition and operation of the equipment. A heat rise check is the total extent of our NORMAL air distribution analysis. If there is a problem here, we inform the customer and go from there. If a customer has complaints about airflow, hot or cold spots etc. that is a different can of worms and we charge accordingly for analysis and corrective measures. Time is money, both to you and to us. If your equipment is that new and you are having duct system issues, I would have gone to the original installer first. Just sounds like you have not found the right company yet.
    A good HVAC tech knows how, an educated HVAC tech knows why!

    DEM


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,513
    why do you feel something isnt correct with your system?
    cant speak for a differant company or tech but seems you should call one of them back and tell then you wiant the air flo checked.

    if you choose to call another company then tell then you want blower and static looked at. you also want a duct evaluation done
    not a hard test to preform and isnt time consuming either
    be prepared there may be nothing that can be done to resolve your concerns or it may becaome an expensive adventure
    you say the system is only 6 years old and it is in bad enough shape to warent talking about replacement!! why?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,030
    A normal clean and check does not usually involve duct work.
    That is a whole separate issue. It is complicated and time consuming to properly evaluate duct work. A manual D is the starting point. And that book is like an inch thick. And most techs are not experts on ducts.
    I would call around for a company that will come over and do a proper duct evaluation if you really feel there is a problem.
    It won't be cheap.
    "Hey Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort." And he says, "there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. - Carl Spackler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    18,592
    Let's see.

    The unit is six years old?

    How old is the house? The ductwork?

    Was a manual J or D ever performed to determine your homes heat loss and gain, airflow to each area, etc?

    If the answers are "no," then there is no surprise there is a problem. Don't start with asking for a seasonal maint check. Call Co's until you find one who can do the checks I mentioned. Be prepared to pay for them. Good luck.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

    AOP Forum Rules:







  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    170
    To all - 1st. thanks for the information. I understand most of you are pros and my remarks might or might not have offended you. Trust me that was not my intention. From the responses received, it seems all of you have correctly understood my issue correctly. I was looking at exactly the type of comments which you've provided. Now that I know about manual J or D along with the other comment regarding checking the pressure in duct, I am now better informed and can proceed further.
    Yes, I'll look up the locator map within this site and move from there.

    In a nutshell, I don't think I have any issues with my furnace. The duct work and the placement of registers are SAME across all the houses within this complex, which is a condominium and was constructed by the Fed. Govt sometime back. I am thus pretty sure that architects and engineers were definitely involved. Additionally, I had the ducts cleaned recently and the cleaning service found 6 inches of grime in the return mains! As such, it's the original duct work. I rented a snake like camera thing and ran it via the duct work shining bright light from outside and I didn't see any severe crevices, mold or mildew.
    The issue is the blower blows too fast, i.e. if I place a 2" x 2" paper in front of the blower on 1st. floor it's just blown away about 6' ! As such, the room is heated/cooled very quickly which I am sure is not good for the equipment. Additionally, there's too much uneven distribution of heat/cold between 1st. and 2nd. floor. During heat (winter) 1st. floor gets heated which 2nd. floor remain cold and in summer, 1st. floor gets cold much quicker than 2nd. floor. The equipment is in the basement. . All of these lead me to believe I have issues with the duct work or the equipment is mis-matched. I inherited it from my previous owner. I checked the manual and it seems there are color codes (wires) with equals to low, medium, high settings for the blower and has 2 sets, 1 for cold, 1 for hot. These are the things that I want someone to review, then recommend and make changes. I in fact went ahead and bought a simple nanometer but fail to use it forcing me to return it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    170
    Okay, I need to 1st. have my "Airflow checked" and additionally I should mention I want a "Manual J" or "Manual D" checks!? Forgive me, but it also sounds Martian to me. Can you please let me know the differences between the J and D and what exactly I should say? I just called up the same company and the so called "engineer" started laughing... telling me I should stop looking at the internet and the forums...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    170
    Tried to remove $$ but it seems someone beat me to it. If anyone wants to know let's say it's $0.01. Whoever it was -- thanks and my apologies.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    170
    Grrr.... latest response from contractor #2: You don't need D, you need S." ... Grrrr........ can I say I need all the manuals and automatic stuff done?

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